Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Great Gatsby Glam

Gatsby glam at Gucci Spring/Summer 2012
The other night I finally sat down to watch the 1974 movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel, The Great Gatsby. Set in the Roaring 20's, this was an era of excesses and modernity, famous for introducing the world to radio, talking pictures, Jazz, Art Deco and Surrealism & the advent of Prohibition which conversely lead to bootlegging and the rise of notorious gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugsy Malone. Women cut their long hair into short bobs, piled on makeup and danced the Charleston with knees and necklines exposed. 
Of the six versions of the film shot so far, The Great Gatsby by Jack Clayton and screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola is arguably the best and most popular version, a sumptuous, beautiful spectacle to watch. Shot through a misty haze at the height of a humid New York Summer, it's all glittering gowns and candy-coloured clothes, set amongst the beautiful manicured gardens and luxurious whitewashed mansions of Long Island's North Shore upper crust in the 20's. The endless heady nights of champagne drenched sparkly Bacchanalian parties and revelers dressed to the nines in decadent beaded party dresses and 3-piece suits belie a seedy underbelly of infidelity, narcism, corruption and greed. 

Mia Farrow wows as the beautiful but vacuous Daisy Buchanan, shot throughout in dreamy whites, gauzy creams, egg shell blues and lavenders. Her jeweled headpiece is stunning as it sparkles and glints and only enhances her glacial beauty. Gatsby himself is bedecked in beautifully tailored Ralph Lauren ice-cream coloured suits, in pin-stripes and pastels.
I can see what attracted Baz Luhrmann to the story - a magpie like me he is drawn to beautiful clothes, beautiful people and beautiful sets. Costume Designer Theoni V. Aldredge won an Oscar for the 1974 film. "She had just returned from three days' leave to collect her Oscar for The Great Gatsby, her most rushed job ever. Because of a change of producers, the director Jack Clayton had hired her only a fortnight before shooting, giving her a schedule with two months' grace for the crucial party sequence. She delivered a garden-full of shimmering lavender-and-silver shifts, and dressed Mia farrow's Daisy to match F Scott Fitzgerald's descriptions of cool, fluttering white clothes. ("Rich people did not get soiled," she recalled of her childhood, "they didn't care, they thought they could throw it all away.") Aldredge insisted that the young Ralph Lauren's contribution to the film had been only as tailor and supplier of shirts, and his place in the credits was restricted to second billing."(The Guardian).

In the tradition of the visually spectacular Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge, get ready Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin's take on The Great Gatsby in 2012. Gemma Ward is rumored to appears in it - check out the beautiful costume captured on set here. 
Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire are perfectly cast as the beautiful and intriguing enigma who is Jay Gatsby, & fresh-faced Mid-Westener Nick Carraway who is swept up into the lavish lives of Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and their cohorts.

*UPDATE - The Great Gatsby Movie Trailer, 2013 (Loving the use of Jay-Z and Kanye's 'No Church for the Wild')

Kate Moss is a Fitzgerald fan and themed her notorious 30th birthday party after his novel The Beautiful and the Damned, a portrait of debauchery and excesses in the Jazz Age. Kate wore a vintage sequin gown (previously seen on Britt Ekland in 1973).  

What with the growing popularity of Downton Abbey and the inevitable Gatsby fever about to ensue, watch out for 20's Jazz-age inspired fashions in 2012. New York Spring Fashion Week showcased a plethroa of Roaring 20's inspired designs. Ralph Lauren's Spring Summer 2012 Collection kicks off the style before everyone else jumps on board with a gorgeous Gatsby-inspired collection awash with sorbet coloured pastels, flapper hats, marabou boas, fluid bias-cut satins & crisp pinstripe suits. Incidentally, Lauren also contributed designs to the 1974 movie.
Gucci Spring/Summer 2012 goes 20's glam.
Daisy Buchanan has also long been a literary muse for Marc Jacobs. He named his fragrance Daisy after her, and his collection for Spring Summer Ready to Wear 2012 is decidedly flapper-esque, with it's cloche hats, drop waists and Mary-Janes.

More bias-cut 20's style beaded dresses, Mary-Janes and white suits at Philosophy by Alberta Ferreti Spring 2012 RTW.

1920's inspired looks from Free People  book 'Through the Decades' by David Bellemere.
Below is the new Charles David Spring Campaign Spring 2011, with Luisa Bianchin channeling Fitzgerald's Daisy Buchanan.

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